Draft to ease charity rules
2012-June-1 Source: Szdaily web edition
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A draft law would lessen regulations and financial restraints on charity organizations to promote their creation and development in Shenzhen.

A draft of the Shenzhen Economic Special Zone Charity Promotion Ordinance, issued by the city’s civil affairs bureau, is open for public comment and contains some bold provisions, such as allowing foreigners to register charity groups.

The ordinance would allow foreigners to register and run charity organizations in Shenzhen, provided the organization’s legal representative lives on the Chinese mainland for at least three months cumulatively every year.

Qu Qiwen, who leads a foreigner-run charity group in Shenzhen, said opening the door for foreign charity groups would greatly promote charitable causes in China.

The ordinance also aims to regulate government’s role in charity activities. Some government departments used to order their subordinates, affiliated institutions and staff to donate money to charities in accordance with their official ranks. The higher the rank, the more the required donation.

But the new regulation would ban government departments from collecting donations with administrative orders and forbid government officials from leading charity organizations.

The draft regulations have stirred heated discussion among scholars and experts from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Some praise the law as a breakthrough in the charity arena, while others doubt the feasibility of some provisions, such as the tax reductions.

Du Peng, director of the Shenzhen Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, acknowledged that it could be difficult for some of the law’s provisions to win final approval.

But innovations can’t happen if they’re never tried, he added.

Editor: Olivia
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